A Line by Line Guide to Completing Form 4868

The deadline is approaching!

The deadline to file your personal income tax return is less than two weeks away on May 17, 2021. If you are considering filing an extension or even just wondering if you are prepared to begin your return, this information is for you!

We are breaking the Form 4868 line by line and answering the common questions our clients have. Once you understand how to complete Form 4868, filing it is a quick and easy process. 

More information about Form 4868

Form 4868 is the IRS tax extension form used to request an extension of time to file all personal income tax returns. This includes the following forms:

  • Form 1040
  • Form 1040-SR
  • Form 1040-NR
  • Form 1040-PR
  • Form 1040-SS

By filing the Form 4868 successfully taxpayers can extend their deadline to file their personal income tax return up to 6 months. This year, since the IRS has already provided taxpayers an automatic extension from April 15, 2021 to may 17, 2021, taxpayers can get up to five additional months to file. 

If you file Form 4868, your extended deadline will most likely be October 15, 2021. Remember, the Form must be filed by the filing deadline of the form you want to extend. In this case

How to Complete Form 4868

Now that we have covered the basic information you need to know about Form 4868, let’s talk about how you file it line by line. 

The Form 4868 has nine lines. On the first line, simply enter your legal name and address. This must match what the IRS has on record. If your address has changed, you should file a Form 8822. Change of address, changing your address on the extension form is not enough. 

On line 2, you should enter your social security number. If you are filing a joint return, please note that the social security number you entered will appear as the first on your return. 

On line 3 enter your spouse’s social security number if you are filing a joint return. 

On line 4, you will need to enter your total tax liability for tax year 2020. If you don’t expect to owe a tax payment, you can enter zero here. 

You should estimate the total payments you have made to the IRS on line 5 of the Form 4868. 

Subtract line 5 from line 4 and enter the total on line 6. This is your balance due to the IRS. 

On line 7, you should enter the amount you plan to pay to the IRS when filing your extension. The IRS advises that you pay as much as you can, preferably the full amount due. 

Line 8 only applies to filers that are out of the country at the time of their deadline. U.S citizens are allowed two additional months to file their form if they are out of the country. For more information for taxpayers that are out of the country, check out the IRS instructions for Form 4868. If this applies to you, check the box. 

Line 9 applies to individuals who file the Form 1040-NR. Individuals filing 1040-NR that didn’t receive wages as an employee subject to income taxes. 

Paper Filing vs. Electronic Filing

Now, we have covered every line of the form, let’s discuss your method of filing this form. When it comes to filing this form, you have two options. You can either mail a paper copy to the IRS, or file electronically with an IRS authorized e-file provider. 

The IRS preferred method of filing is electronically filing. When e-filing your form, the IRS is able to process the for at a faster rate. This allows you to know that your form was rejected in time for you to correct it. 

ExpressExtension is an IRS authorized e-file provider with over a decade of experience in the e-filing industry. Our filing process is designed for speed and accuracy. With the necessary information available, you can complete your form in minutes and receive instant updates from the IRS. 

Ready to file your extension? Get started today with ExpressExtension

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *